Grinders Coffee explains its tiered training programs

Grinders Coffee

Grinders Coffee explains its tiered training programs through classroom and in-café settings.

As one of the first established coffee roasters in Australia, launched in 1962, Grinders Coffee has long been involved in pioneering and shaping the Australian coffee industry, and the internationally recognised Melbourne coffee culture.

This year, Grinders celebrates its 60th anniversary. Just as it’s grown as a business, Grinders Coffee Marketing Manager Burcu De La Cruz says the company continues to grow its training offering.

“After 60 years, we have proven experience and expertise in coffee training and education. As a partner, we continue to share our knowledge and innovation learnings,” says Burcu.

Grinders offers a three-tiered training program that meets the needs of its customers. It helps build their confidence and knowledge with equipment and creates recipes and latte art to impress and amaze.

“We offer an extensive crop to cup coffee education, created to build knowledge and practical skills. The Fundamentals training program builds confidence in using equipment and understanding of the coffee process or can simply refresh your skill set. The Intermediate program is targeted to baristas who want to advance and take control of their coffee space,” Burcu says.

“Finally, the Advanced course provides the opportunity for baristas to build on their coffee knowledge, understanding Brew ratios, building recipes, and advanced latte art.”

The Fundamentals training program is four hours and split into three sections. The first covers the journey from crop to cup, while the second part is designed to cover equipment, such as espresso technique and grinder concepts. The final section details how to make coffee, from espresso recipes to temperature and wand technique.

The Intermediate program is held over two and a half hours and split into three sections. It begins by diving into a more detailed view of the workstation, such as perfecting extraction and grinder adjustment. The second section covers how to handle tickets in a busy café, before finishing on how to create latte art.

The Advanced course is conducted over two and a half hours and starts with analysing coffee flavour, understanding all variables and setting volumetrics before moving onto more complex latte art skills. The final stage involves maintaining the investment of coffee equipment through cleaning and long-term support.

“We have long had established training classrooms in each state to support our customers, however in recent years, we’ve really diversified our offering to focus on a balanced mix of classroom, in-café, and online training,” says Burcu.

To access any Grinders training videos, whether you’re an experienced or budding home barista, Burcu says customers can visit the Grinders website and look for the Education tab.

“With the recent growth of the at-home barista, we’ve also released nine incredible video animations for the home coffee aficionado. These can be found on our website or YouTube channel,” she says.

At its core, Grinders aims to uncomplicate the coffee experience for its customers and arm them with the tools to pass the experience on to their consumers.

A team of coffee specialists lead all Grinders training programs, including Grinders Coffee Brand Ambassador, Jonathan ‘Jono’ Goldthorpe, Senior Coffee Specialists Glenn Bailey, Alec Zeta, and Dale Pollard. Each bring a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to the new program.

“Training and education begin with our team. Luckily for us, we have some great people in our business. Our training team has decades of combined experience, led by Glenn Bailey, who has owned and operated multiple cafés,” says Jono.

Jono says Glenn loves working with customers and showing them how they can boost their revenue by improving workflow, reducing wastage, and improving quality and consistency.

“We also have Dale Pollard, who placed third in the 2022 ASCA Northern Region Brewers Cup competition. Dale is infectiously passionate about brewing coffee and the biggest coffee geek in the team,” he says.

“Alec Zeta is our roasting expert and would also narrowly win most of the team latte art competitions. The two newest additions to the team are Stef Lowe and Daniel Radocaj. On top of being a coffee allrounder, Stef has exceptional customer relationships and is brilliant at supporting our customers in brewing and selling our single origin range.

“Daniel is an ex-fine dining chef who made the move to coffee over a decade ago. Dan has worked as a barista, technician, and account manager before taking up the new challenge of the coffee specialist role.”

Jono says the combined experience of the Grinders training team makes them an asset to the business. But having customers across over the country makes it difficult for the specialist team to visit them all.

“Luckily, we have Territory Managers dotted throughout the entire country, even in regional locations, to service all our customers. For this reason, the Coffee Specialist team focus a large portion of their time each week to the development of the sales team who are visiting our customers every single day,” says Jono.

“Many of our sales team are already experienced coffee professionals. But we have a full onboarding and intensive coffee training program for all employees to ensure they have the tools to support our customers, no matter where they’re located.”

To Grinders, its café partners are part of its community. Burcu says the coffee brand truly believes the best way to achieve mutual growth is to work together.

“Our Coffee Ambassador, Jono Goldthorpe is responsible for growing the coffee culture internally and externally, both through communication, education, industry, and events,” she says.

Grinders is expanding its ambassador network and will be introducing a Customer Ambassador Program in 2023.

“This program will see us building a tight knit network of customers and baristas to hold intensive training sessions and workshops throughout the year, designed to improve coffee quality, customers knowledge and the consumer’s experience,” says Burcu.

“Jono has worked hard to make all our people our ambassadors and we’re excited to extend that to our customers.”

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This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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